Senses

Today’s ride had a little bit of something for all of the senses… it’s one of the great things about running and riding outside that you can’t really get on a trainer or treadmill.

First, there was sound.  This wasn’t positive.  I’ve still got a creaking sound on the bike when I pedal.  At first I thought it might be my knee… I am getting older, you know.  But I’ve done some troubleshooting, and I’m pretty sure it’s the bike.  I’ve tightened down everything I can get to or have a tool for, but the sound is still there.  I’ll probably drop the bike off at a local shop tomorrow to see if they can check the crank and bottom bracket with the proper tools.  The sound was a little less annoying, though, because of some other adjustments I’ve been able to make, which leads me to “feel”.

I’ve noticed some sloppy shifting on the bike for the past few weeks, and using the indoor trainer has helped me diagnose the problem.  After my workout on Thursday, I got back on the bike and did some practice shifting while pedaling slowly and watching the rear derailleur.  I found that I wasn’t even hitting all the gears on the cassette, and was getting multiple shifts for some clicks of the index shifters.  So, last night I watched a couple of You Tube videos on adjusting the shifting mechanism and went at it.  How did the world survive before Google and You Tube?  I am fairly handy with jobs that require only mass muscle movements… rough carpentry, plumbing, large component assembly, etc, but my skillsets deteriorate rapidly as the complexity and attention to detail requirements rise.  Adjusting a derailleur can be one of those jobs.  You have to notice small changes resulting from minor turns of the screw, etc.  After a few trial and error attempts (okay, a lot), I finally got the bike “firing on all cylinders”, or at least hitting all the gears.  So, today’s ride felt a lot smoother.

The sight was a real surprise… how about a 6 foot alligator sunning itself on the creek bank as I rode by?  There were some folks standing by the creek, just staring at the shoreline, which made me curious.  As I got closer, I could see the beast nestled in the tall grass, just on the edge of the water.  Not something you expect to see on a nice Saturday ride.  I’ve often wondered as I drive through neighborhoods here, almost all of which have a collection pond or lake, if you would be allowed to swim in the lake if you lived there.  Maybe not.  I bet it would help with my pace per 100 yards, though.

120711_SCI_alligator.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-largeCare for a swim?

The smell was the most pleasant part of the ride.  About 2/3 of the way through, I passed a very large Christmas tree lot.  The wind was just right, and I got a wonderful dose of pine.  I actually smelled it before I saw the lot, and there was something in my brain that screamed Christmas.  It’s amazing how sensory things like that can trigger memories and emotions in your brain.  There isn’t much in Florida that makes me think it’s December, and only a couple of weeks from Christmas, but that 30 second aroma of pine trees did it for a while.

Oh, yeah… taste.  Note to self, don’t mix the “assorted” sport beans pack with blue gatorade.  Yuck.

Tomorrow is a long run.  It was supposed to be 7 miles, with 14 the following week.  I’ll be traveling back to Little Rock next weekend, though, so I will probably swap the two runs.  That would mean two 14 milers in a row, but I’ve done much more than that during marathon training.  We’ll see how I feel in the morning.

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